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August 2019 Midlands Zone Front Cover Robbie MM Final.qxp_Layout 1 22/07/2019 18:01 Page 1







len l e K c M n a Sir I backs LEICESTER GAY playwright appeal







LGBT COMMUNITY BEFORE GREED We appeal to those who could hold the key to safeguard the gay village


B'ham LGBT Full August 2019.qxp_Layout 1 22/07/2019 11:58 Page 1

Contents August.qxp_Layout 1 25/07/2019 11:58 Page 1










GLITORIS GIRLS are set to sparkle at The Yard

Save The Gay Village 6 No Outsiders 14

Summer Of Pride 22 Joe Orton Appeal 26

Your guide to the month ahead on the GAY SCENE


DRAG MISS AMBER QUEENS brings the unite for funny to charity at Bar Diva Missing


Cat’s Corner 31 Let’s Talk with Lacey 32 On The Ball 35 What’s On Arts 39 Now & 10 Years Ago 40

Drag SOS’ Lill sits in judgement at

Get connected...





Sunday 11 August at the Nightingale, Birmingham



News August MM.qxp_Layout 1 25/07/2019 10:11 Page 1

West Mids TOP for LGBT jobs

A recent survey has found that when it comes to job vacancies, the West Midlands is the sixth most LGBTQ+ inclusive region in the UK.

RuPaul’s Drag Race stint for Cheryl & Twiggy

Job-search company Azunda says that although discrimination against LGBTQ+ people remains a problem, there has been an increase across the country in the number of employers actively seeking or supporting employees from the community. LGBTs on the lookout for jobs can visit - a jobsite which caters exclusively for LGBT people and their allies. Part of Stonewall, the company aims to help candidates find roles with organisations that are committed to true diversity and inclusion for their employees.

Pop star Cheryl and 1960s icon Twiggy have been named as Ru Paul’s Drag Race judges.

The duo will join Maisie Williams, Geri Horner, Jade Thirlwall, Michaela Coel and Andrew Garfield in the guestjudge role, with Graham Norton and Alan Carr appearing on the show as rotating resident judges. Commenting on the news, Cheryl said: “I’m a huge fan of Drag Race. I’ve always admired the work and dedication that goes into drag and have learned over the years that it’s an art form. It’s not only fun and glamorous

GAY ICON TO HEADLINE BIRMINGHAM’S SHOUT FESTIVAL SHOUT Festival of Queer Arts & Culture has announced that cult icon John Waters will headline this year’s event, in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome. Described as 'the pope of trash', John has written and directed 16 movies across his 50-year career. He's best known for his seminal counter-cultural comedies, which celebrate deviance and alternative lifestyles. These include Hairspray, Pink Flamingos and Polyester. John has also had his photography shown in galleries across the world and is the author of nine books, including his new title, Mr Know-It-All, The Tarnished Wisdom Of A Filth


Elder, which will be published in the UK in September. Combining highlights of his standout career with 'delightfully devious anecdotes, comical career observations and hilarious audience interaction', John's SHOUT Festival Hippodrome show promises to be a night of top-quality entertainment. John Waters: This Filthy World will show at Birmingham Hippodrome on Wednesday 13 November.

but equally as skillful and admirable. I find it incredibly inspiring. I just love the makeup, creativity and drama. I’m honoured to be a guest judge!” Twiggy - who is also known nowadays, since being appointed a Dame, as Dame Lesley Lawson - is looking forward to contributing to the show too: “You see the most gorgeous women in the most glamorous outfits. I love the creativity of the clothes and the makeup. I’ve been to a few drag shows and they’re brilliant fun.” RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will be screened on BBC Three in the autumn.

News August MM.qxp_Layout 1 25/07/2019 10:12 Page 2

Have ya heard?


About Jamie Smash-hit musical Everybody’s Talking its first ever is heading for the Midlands next year on iams Will on UK tour - with Shane Richie and Layt End t Wes the in reprising the roles they played version.

Sheffield, doesn’t quite fit Jamie New is 16, lives on a council estate in by his mum and orted Supp e. futur in and is terrified about the dice, beats the bullies preju omes overc he s, surrounded by his friend ght... and steps out of the darkness and into the spotli singer-songwriter of lead by tunes pop y With an original score of catch Tom MacRae (Doctor Who), The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and writer ingham, from 16 to 21 Birm the show visits the Alexandra Theatre, 23 to 27 June 2020. from re Theat d Gran March and Wolverhampton

BIRMINGHAM’S EDEN BAR GETS ROBBED! Popular Birmingham Gay Village venue Eden Bar was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday 9 July.

The venue’s co-owner, Garry Prentice, commented: “The thieves caused hundreds of pounds-worth of damage and stole hundreds of CCTV image of the suspect outside Eden pounds-worth of goods.”

Cannock’s Candi Caines bids farewell and has closed down Cannock’s only LGBT entertainment venue has closed down.

Candi Caine’s cabaret bar, situated in the town’s Church Street, shut its doors to the public for the last time on 29 June. Owner Andy James (Candi Caine) recently took to his personal Facebook account to thank his staff, who’d been with him ‘since the start’. He wrote: “I have met some amazing people and made some lifelong friends along the way. Although the closure of Candi Caines marks the end of an era, it’s not the end for Candi herself, who signed off by saying, ‘You haven’t seen the last of me!’ Watch this space... 5

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3 MORE BRUM GAY VENUES TO CLOSE! Following recent concerns about the future of LGBT venues The Nightingale Club and Eden Bar, we can exclusively reveal that three other Birmingham gay venues are set to be demolished in the next 18 months.

Over the next couple of years, property developers are set to take over and build on a large area of land that includes the site of the current Unit 2 sauna. Meanwhile, the area across the road on Lower Essex Street, where Boltz is situated, down to Sherlock Street, where The Core and Cobs are, and through to Hurst Street, where the open-air car park currently operates, is set to be demolished to make way for new property development in three or four years’ time.

UNIT 22019


Speaking exclusively to Midlands Zone, Boltz bar owner Liam Wolohan said: “We were only offered an additional threeyear lease back in March last year, which expires in March 2021, and clearly we’re not going to have it renewed after that. “We’re hoping that a possible alternative venue within Birmingham Gay Village



will come up before our lease expires, in order for us to continue to trade in a new location. We are hoping to work with the Gooch Estate to that end.” One possible venue could have been the former Wellington site, which closed down earlier this year. However, the landowner’s agents, Pennycuick Collins, have already agreed terms with another




TO CLOSE BY MARC operator.

Owner of The Core, Michael Edge, was unavailable for comment on the closure of his venue, but a spokesperson confirmed that their lease expires in December 2020. Meanwhile, owner of Unit 2 Sauna, Trevor Ford confirmed that the venue will close by 30 November this year.

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A packed meeting to support Eden Bar in June

SUPPORT BUILDS TO SAVE EDEN BAR and already boasts over 400 members, has confirmed that the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, will be in attendance at the meeting.

With the breaking news that gay venues Unit 2, Boltz and The Core are all set to close down and be demolished within the next 18 months, the Birmingham LGBT community is redoubling its efforts to safeguard the future of Eden Bar. A packed open meeting was held at Eden at the end of June. Customers confronted officials from Birmingham City Council about the threat posed to the venue by proposed Rea Valley Urban Quarter development.

Garry and Cal outside Eden Bar

The Birmingham City Council representatives appeared fully supportive of both Eden Bar and the wider Birmingham Gay Village.

City Council, Ian Ward

A further meeting, organised by new campaigning group The Friends of Eden Bar, takes place at the venue on Sunday 4 August at 1pm. The group, which has been set up by loyal customers Kristian Paul and Rob Draper

The purpose of the get-together is to discuss ways in which the LGBT community can protect LGBT+ spaces in Birmingham. All interested parties are welcome to attend. Leader of Birmingham

Rob Draper

Kristian Paul

MEETING: Sun 4 Aug at Eden Bar 7

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t New Proposed Apartments still pending a decision by Birmingham City Council T


The warehouses situated opposite The Village Inn are set to be demolished during August 2019, in order to make way for the outside car park to be extended - and which is expected to be in use until the new property developers start to build on the land that will take in car park, The Core, Cobs Bar, and Boltz Club in 3 or 4 years time.

Apartment planning approved

Apartment planning approved




The Loft



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Built in 2005

Ke n


Southside Apartments

New development set to be submitted soon and built on over the next couple of years

Goo t ch S


Unit 2 Sauna to close in Nov 2019

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New Timber Yard Apartments currently under construction

t eS


Ski nne r Ln

s Per

Cla ybr o


Built in 2009


Lattitude Apartments

Hur t

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Village Inn

Not set to be redeveloped for 10-20 years

This land could be redevelopment in around 15 years time

Hur Rea Valley Urban Quarter proposed development could start as early as 4 years time.





er E Low

New development set to be submitted and built on in around 3 or 4 years time

rloc k St


st S

The Fox

Boltz Club to close in Mar 2021

The Core to close in Dec 2020

Eden only have less than 4 year lease left


st S


Rea Valley Urban Quarter proposed development 9

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LANDOWNERS OF THE GAY iLandCOULD HOLD THE VILLAGE Apartments KEYBuilt TOinTHE 2008 FUTURE! We talk exclusively to Charles Gillett, who represents the Gooch Estate - which owns most of the land Birmingham Gay Village venues are situated on. Could the Gooch Estate therefore hold the key to ensuring the Gay Village continues to thrive?

Charles Gillett

The Gooch Estate is owned by Benacre Properties Company, which has the following three directors:

Lady Susan Gooch

What do you think about the proposed Rea Valley Urban Quarter development, which would include some of the land the Gooch Estate owns? Birmingham City Council have produced a document with blobs on it where they think there should be developments within the Rea Valley Urban Quarter, but Birmingham City Council haven’t consulted the Gooch Estate at all as yet. They seem quite happy to do that, and have done so with sites within the boundary of the Smithfield Markets area as well [Gooch Estate used to own this - it was compulsory purchased in 1974]. It’s a supplementary planning document that they’re producing, and the idea is that they can have some control and be a bit prescriptive about future developments within that area. There’s absolutely nothing concrete at the moment. It’s entirely their plan, and the Gooch Estate have got no plans with regard to Eden Bar or the other land in that block, and are unlikely to have any plans for some time.

Eden Bar’s lease ends in May 2023. This is causing some anxiety within the LGBT community, as we gather that you’re not likely to renew their lease?

Lucinda Hutson

Victoria Vere Nicoll 10

The normal practice would be to deal with it at the end of the lease and not four years before the end of the lease. So that’s what will happen in the last 12 months of the term. They are protected tenants, as far as I know. They have security and the right to a new lease. There are some grounds upon which the landlord cannot give them a new lease subject to the court agreeing, and one of those is because they’ve got an intention to redevelop.

There are currently no plans. No discussions. No nothing. What would be normal is that as we get near to the last 12 months of the term - May 2022 - then we’d start talking to them.

If the Gooch Estate is not intending to redevelop for some years, could you not negotiate an extended lease now? It’s feasible. I’ll have a conversation with them again, but I suspect the answer will be the response that I’ve given you, and that it will be dealt with at the appropriate time. Eden Bar is the exception to the rule on the Gooch Estate. Nearly all lettings which aren’t on these long leases of the ground are usually on short term - three or five years with no security for the tenant. Eden Bar was let on a 21-year lease, and so it is quite exceptional in that respect. At the time, the Gooch Estate backed the tenants, Cal & Garry, to refurbish the property and to run a good business.

So would Eden Bar be offered another 21-year lease?

No. Not necessarily. When they get into the last 12 months of the term, they can apply to court for a new lease, and they can give a lease up to 14 years. When the Rea Valley Urban Quarter area is developed, there’s no reason why Eden Bar couldn’t stay there and form part of the new development effectively. In some respect, it’s happened, I suppose, with Missing Bar. That pub was retained, and I would have thought that Eden Bar would have been similar. That’s one issue, and I guess the other is having residential property around them and what impact that has on how they operate their business at the moment.

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On what basis could Eden Bar be refused a new lease? There are various specific grounds, such as they haven’t paid their rent and are in persistent rent arrears, or they haven’t kept the property in repair or haven’t complied with other convenance within the lease. Another reason could be that the landlord wants to occupy the property themselves or wants to redevelop it. But I think they’re good tenants and the Gooch Estate remote from Birmingham wouldn’t want to occupy it themselves. The only issue would be development. Irrespective of that, I don’t think the Gooch Estate would do anything at the moment - because they don’t have to, amongst other things - other than sit and wait to get closer to the lease expiry date.

I understand Unit 2 haven’t been offered an additional lease. Is that the Gooch Estate as well? The freehold is, but there’s an intermediate leaseholder. Plans for the Unit 2 site ‘is’ currently being looked at and ‘is’ likely to be more imminent than the area where Eden Bar is. That’s the majority of the block, but it doesn’t go all of the way to Sherlock Street.

And what about the leases at The Core and Boltz Club not being renewed? What I’d say is you should talk to them about their situation and any discussions we may be having with them.

Is there anywhere within the Gay Village that future displaced venues could relocate to? There’s massive potential on that corner by The Village Inn, I would have thought. If you take away the warehouse at the back of the Village Inn and you transform the way that the Jubilee Centre responds to its surroundings, it could be a fantastic opportunity within the Gay Village to provide space for whatever businesses are looking for something. At the moment it’s closed off and doesn’t do anything, but it could relate to the area and the street and provide a good facility for something.

Is the Gooch Estate looking at redeveloping the land from the Jubilee Centre up to The Village Inn anytime soon? The Jubilee Centre is let, and is let for a good while yet, and so is the Village Inn, so not anytime soon.

And the land that takes in the Gallan car park opposite the Village Inn, and warehouses - as well as Cobs, Boltz, The Core and The Fox - when do you envisage that block being redeveloped? It’s likely to be looked at in two chunks. The Fox is on a ground lease to Punch, and that has quite a few years left on it, as has the probation service, so there’s nothing likely to happen on the top end maybe for 15 years or so. Whereas the bottom end, where the open car park is, along with The Core, Boltz, Cobs Bar and a couple of other

businesses, would be within the next three to four years.

So it looks like the Gooch Estate holds the key, more than anyone else really, to the survival of Birmingham’s Gay Village? I think the developers who are developing the land hold the key more so than the Gooch Estate. One thing that the Gooch Estate has done is insisted that with all schemes there are commercial premises at ground level. That’s what you will have seen with schemes that have been built so far, with Latitude, I-Land & Southside, and what’s currently going up with Timber Yard.

Are the commercial premises suitable for gay bars and clubs?

I don’t see why not. There’s a planning application pending at the moment opposite the Nightingale which has a bar at ground level for lease.

Does the Gooch Estate put on any restrictions in their leases to developers?

All sites are sold on long leases, so there’s an agreement subject to planning permission - and then, when planning permission is gained, the developer draws down a lease. So there is a document that governs what can and can’t be done. But they’re ground leases, so effectively the Gooch Estate continues to own the land but the developer is responsible for the building and leasing or selling the building and so on... The actual ground is retained by the Gooch Estate in that sense. 11

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Dear Lady Gooch, Lucin

Vere Nicoll,

Estate y that operate the Gooch pany - the holding compan Com ties Village. per Gay Pro e m acr gha ard the vital Birmin As the directors of Ben port in helping to safegu sup r you for eal app to ide area are situated on I am writing to you venues within the Souths BT LG the of st mo t tha ly aware You may or may not be ful . own as the Gooch Estate you ties per which show a number of land and in pro s and drafts in circulation tion lica app ing that nn pla of ber er planning applications Currently there are a num ications of numerous oth ind o als are ere it. w Th . kno eat thr Village as we these LGBT venues under e out the Birmingham Gay ure years that could wip fut in ted and stability mit sub be to are set to the continued success ieve that you hold the key bel we , ate in favour of Est als ch ew Goo ren refused lease As the directors of the of it, as LGBT venues are ure fail the or e lag Vil of the Birmingham Gay s’ plans. en Bar, which could be large property developer perties on your land, Ed pro e lag Vil Gay the of cerns one ertainty surrounding The most urgent issue con Eden’s plight and the unc s. ent rtm apa of ent pm future develo surrounded by a possible dia coverage recently. received widespread me Eden has g uin e. In order to safeguard the venue contin less than four years’ tim in 23 20 y Ma bar 28 the day g s on Sun er offerin The venue’s lease expire that you urgently consid ular venues - we would ask pop st mo e’s lag Vil Gay - one of the new long extended lease. will owners, Garry and Cal, a safeguarding Eden Bar, you munity’s mind at rest by com BT LG the put y onl By doing this, you will not est in the venue. green light to further inv the Cal and rry lopment of the area Ga e giv o als sympathetic to the redeve are y nit mu com BT LG ing out majority of the not at the expense of wip We believe that the vast ve new developments - but ati cre hope you of e We tiv . ple por peo sup be BT LG generally and would especially to young t, por sup ial ent ess es ard it. e, which provid portive in helping to safegu Birmingham’s Gay Villag st you will be equally sup tru and is, r rte qua gay s of its contribution to the agree how vital thi Village and are well aware Gay the of e tiv por sup y l are ver t in ensuring that the city Birmingham City Counci playing an important par and r offe al e tur cul m’s mingha y also realise that they hav city, greatly enhancing Bir destination. However, the itor vis e ers div Gay and the n moder riment of is viewed as a welcoming, s which could be to the det s from property developer tion lica app p sto to ers limited pow it 2 Village venues. tz venue, The Core and Un on your land include Bol ties per pro e lag new Vil for y Gay er rs to make wa Alongside Eden Bar, oth in the next couple of yea part are set to be demolished ich wh of all ll constitute progress - as we na y Sau ma h s Healt t the development tha es cas se ues the ven in se ept tho to acc priority developments. Whilst we Gooch Estate would give a - we would hope that the are the of ernative suitable sites. ion alt g rat rin ene offe reg ly of the e area, by urgent lag Vil Gay the hin wit e her d, and so we really wishing to relocate elsew on the Gooch Estate’s lan d ate situ are ues ven e of the Gay Villag Indeed, the vast majority r hands. ure lands heavily in you fut its perty industry as the do believe the key to m of having a thriving pro gha min Bir to s efit ben tand the iving Gay Village While I very much unders ht the benefits which a thr hlig hig to d oun y-b dut l lf, I also fee city seeks to rebrand itse . city provides for the ors of Benacre Properties pectfully ask, as the direct res to you that to g itin wr I am the LGBT community, and With all of this in mind, o an open dialogue with int er ent ves the ati of ent ing res llbe r rep the we Limited, that you or you mingham’s Gay Village and to look at safeguarding Bir ny mo fortable. har com in er and d eth tog axe we work ere they can feel rel wh ce spa e saf a ing vid , pro community that it serves from you. g I look forward to hearin Kind regards, Martin Monahan s Zone Magazine Editor in Chief, Midland


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The Nightingale Club

The Village Inn

Eden Bar

Unit 2 Sauna

The Fox

Amusement 13


The Loft

The Core 13

No Outsiders - August FINAL VERSION.qxp_Layout 1 25/07/2019 12:24 Page 1


The ongoing row over the teaching of equalities lessons which contain information about LGBT relationships shows no sign of abating. The LGBT community, our allies and the Government all believe that the lessons must continue - and there are plenty of voices within the Muslim community who are singing from exactly the same hymn sheet...

We as Muslim women need to find a way to detach ourselves from this continuous male chokehold on a narrative that sees men representing the British Muslim experience,

when in fact they represent no one but themselves

No individual, group or community of people will emerge unscathed from the ongoing row about equalities lessons in schools. Since February, protesters unhappy with the teaching of lessons about LGBT relationships have made their presence felt outside two predominantly Muslim innercity Birmingham schools - Parkfield and Anderton Park. In the main, the protesters have been Muslim, the groups made up of parents and activists. As a result of the protests outside Parkfield, the equalities programme, No Outsiders, through which children learn about LGBT relationships, was suspended while discussions took place between the school and the parents. The programme will be reintroduced in the autumn under an amended name, No Outsiders For A Faith Community, and with various modifications having been made to the lessons. Despite the consultations, protesters remain unhappy with the programme, claim-


ing that it continues to be ‘heavily biased towards LGBTQ’. Woolly guidelines At Anderton Park, meanwhile, an interim injunction won by Birmingham City Council ensured a trouble-free end to the summer term, with a court hearing pending to look at the case in greater detail. The school’s head, Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, has been critical of the Government guidelines regarding equalities lessons, saying that they’re ‘too woolly’. It remains to be seen whether Boris Johnson’s sacking of Education Minister Damian Hinds, replacing him with Gavin Williamson, will bring about any change in strategy regarding Department for Education guidance. Male choke-hold What is clear, however, is that there are plenty of voices in the Muslim community speaking out against the protests - not only because they disagree with the stance being taken, but also because they fear the impact which a small number of religious

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MUST STAND fundamentalists may have on the standing of the community as a whole. Saima Razzaq, the first Muslim woman to lead a Pride Parade in Britain - this year’s Birmingham Pride - and the co-chair of SEEDS (Supporting the Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools), is particularly concerned about the impact which the ongoing row is having on the female Muslim community: “We as Muslim women need to find a way to detach ourselves from this continuous male choke-hold on a narrative that sees men representing the British Muslim experience, when in fact they represent no one but themselves.” ‘Homophobic’ protesters And Saima is not alone in her concerns about the motivations behind the protests. Khakan Qureshi, a gay Muslim activist who runs Birmingham South Asians LGBT and who led the Birmingham Pride Parade alongside Saima, believes that the Muslim community as a whole is not homophobic, but feels that a minority of protesters are ‘agitating’. “The attitudes of the protesters towards the No Outsiders programme is completely homophobic,” he told the BBC. “No matter how they package it, it still comes across as homophobic.” Stench of hypocrisy Khakan’s view is shared by Muna Adil, who works for Quilliam International, the world’s first counter-extremism organisation. “The stench of hypocrisy is unmissable,” she says. “The vitriolic hate espoused by these parents has somehow managed to disguise itself as victimhood. Their claim is that the promotion of LGBT awareness is ‘exploiting children’s innocence’. But what about the fundamentalist Muslim agenda that aggressively pushes the notion that homosexuality is sinful? What about its repercussions on gay Muslim kids who will be forced to repress their identities forever if they wish to remain part of their communities?” Support has also come from leading Muslim charity Tell MAMA, whose spokesperson told “The actions against an LGBTQ programme in Birmingham take a ‘pick and mix’ approach to equalities, which is not acceptable.” Meanwhile, the Church of England is to provide support for its schools to help them deliver the new relationship education required by the Government from 2020, including teaching on LGBT relationships and families.

BIRMINGHAM LGBT COMMUNITY LEADER CALLS FOR NEW EDUCATION SECRETARY TO DEAL WITH LGBT LESSONS POLICY AS A MATTER OF PRIORITY Birmingham Pride’s Festival Director, Lawrence Barton, has urged the newly appointed Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, to make dealing with the LGBT lessons controversy his first task - and to act decisively where former minster Damian Hinds failed to do so, by issuing full guidance to headteachers. This year's Birmingham Pride festival supported the No Outsiders programme which has been at the centre of the ongoing row. Devised by Parkfield Community School's gay assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat, the programme teaches children about equality and includes information on LGBT relationships. Mr Barton, whose company, GB Training, teaches vocational skills, said: “Political intervention and decisive action is now demanded from the new education secretary to resolve the LGBT lessons controversy once and for all. Gavin Williamson needs to issue full guidance to headteachers throughout the UK so that these homophobic protesters cannot sabotage and target and intimidate children, parents and teachers outside individual schools. “The government has been too slow in its response to these anti-equality protesters. Despite those opposing the lessons allegedly doing so on the

Lawrence Barton pictured here with new Prime Minister Boris Johnson

grounds of religious beliefs or family values, our LGBT existence Gavin Wil liamson and our way of life has to be respected. It’s absolutely vital that all children are taught about the many different kinds of family that exist in today’s society, including those that have two mummies or two daddies. These lessons will go a long way to helping stamp out bullying in the playground. “Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, has already explained the necessity for equality teaching in education and schools. She also made a very strong and important point about the essence of democracy - not everyone gets what they want but the majority should be respected.” Last month a group of 70 MPs signed a letter to Damian Hinds, calling for the government to give clearer support to schools around the issue of teaching about LGBT relationships. Mr Hinds failed to act on the MPs’ call. The LGBT community and its allies will be hoping that the new education secretary doesn’t follow suit. 15

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No Outsiders - August FINAL VERSION.qxp_Layout 1 25/07/2019 12:24 Page 4

We should never have stopped teaching No Outsiders lessons, says school boss!

The protesters demonstrating against equalities lessons that include information about LGBT relationships were empowered by the decision to suspend the No Outsiders programme, says the chief executive of the academy trust that runs Parkfield primary school.

Hazel Pulley, CEO of the Excelsior Multi-Academy Trust

The No Outsiders equalities programme was devised by Parkfield’s gay assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat. Speaking to the Times Educational Supplement, Hazel Pulley, CEO of the Excelsior Multi-Academy Trust, said that the Department for Education put the school under “extreme pressure” to pause the programme in order to stop the protests. It’s a claim which was repeated recently in the BBC’s Panorama programme. “We shouldn’t have suspended, and we shouldn’t have been asked to suspend,” said Ms Pulley. “I’ve really tussled with this, and I am absolutely adamant now: don’t suspend, it gave power to one side. “There was nothing wrong; it immediately made it look as if you were doing something wrong and we hadn’t.” She continued: “It didn’t work, on reflection, because whilst we were suspended it was as if it empowered them. It empowered them with what they had managed to do. “So when we went into meetings they came at it from a stance of ‘well look what we’ve managed to do now, look what we could do in the future’.”

NOTTINGHAM PARENTS IN SUPPORT OF LGBT LESSONS The LGBT lessons row has spread to Nottingham, where protesters recently demonstrated outside Fernwood Primary School. But they weren’t alone... A group of parents staged a counter-protest at the same time - and did so with rainbow flags to hand! 17

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Midlands Zone Readers’ Awards 2019 Best Club DJ winner Robbie Lewis chats about his career, musical influences and life away from the DJ booth...

I absolutely love my job, so being able to get up and play in front of all those people every week is something that never gets old. Also, the dancers, other DJs and the management team are great people who are very creative. We have a lot of fun working together. Talk through a typical Saturday night in the village... I arrive in Birmingham around 10pm and set up the club. If I get time, I'll experiment with the lighting or stage setup to keep things fresh. The ground floor fills up as soon as we open, and it's high energy right till the very end. Around midnight the dancers join me on stage and it becomes a bit more of a performance. By performance, I mean the dancers being amazing and me dancing badly! At 2am, Just Soriah takes over and takes the music in some cool new direction. She's very good at that. How long have you been in the DJ business and what first attracted you to the job? Eleven years now! I started out in Leicester playing the back room in the only gay club there at the time. I’d been working as a barman previously and

“ I absolutely

love my job. So being able to get up and play in front of all those people every week is something that never gets old

What’s the best thing about working in the Gay Village, Robbie, and in particular at the Nightingale?

figured out pretty quickly that the DJ booth was for me. You were part of a duo called The Mix Munkies. What influenced your decision to go solo? I'm really proud of what Sam and I did with Mix Munkies. We achieved a lot, and I wouldn't have got this far without it. In 2013 we were both trying other things. During that time I got a solo gig at a club in Leicester and realised that I wanted to push ahead on my own. You’ve worked with numerous other DJs. Who’s been the best to work with? I've done a lot of work with Lisa Lashes she's been a great friend and inspiration over the years. Driving around to different cities can sometimes be a bit lonely, so it's hanging out with the other residents that I really appreciate. Just Soriah, Richard Moon, Simon Harris, DJ Corey are all great friends who I've worked with for many years now. Who’s influenced you most as a DJ? I try to focus on being a really good resident DJ. That means I get to know my crowd really well and work hard to give them what they want every week. So I take influence from the scene. If a new track drops on Drag Race and it'll work in the club, then I'll have it on the following weekend. 19

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What are the advantages & disadvantages of being a DJ? I love partying. Being able to steer the ship on a busy night in the club is the best thing in the world. I also love the creativity and all the different people you meet. The disadvantage is that successful DJs don't get very much sleep! If you could change one thing on the scene, what would it be? I'd bring back the days when bars and clubs were packed every night of the week! I'd also like to see more ‘production’ in clubs in general. By this I mean dancers, performers, lighting and special effects. It's something we're really focused on at the Nightingale, and I consider it an integral part of my performances. What’s your view on the current unrest in the Gay Village that’s been caused by the proposal to build more residential properties? I'm very aware of the growing threat to our nightlife from poor residential planning. I've been involved in petitioning Birmingham City Council at every stage, and I encourage others to do the same. It's an issue affecting the nighttime industry across the UK, and it needs constant effort from communities to prevent further erosion. As part of the organising team for Leicester Pride, what are your views on the recent call for a straight Pride? The mere suggestion of it is insulting to the members of our community who are still fighting every day to gain acceptance and freedom of identity. It shows that we still have a lot of work to do. What would be your ideal night out away from work? Pizza, Xbox and an early night! What would be your second career choice? In the daytime I work as a web developer, integrating ecommerce websites with backend systems. It's a great mix of creativity and problem-solving, and sitting in a chair all day gives me a welcome rest after the weekend! Where did you grow up? In a little village near Leicester. My childhood was spent making dens in the woods and riding my bike. I still live nearby, in a village 10 minutes away. I love the city, but when I'm at home I like the peace and quiet. When did you first realise you were gay? I was aware of it before I even knew what ‘gay’ was. I had relationships with boys and girls until I was 21. At university I thought I'd give having a girlfriend one last go. That didn't work out, so I've considered myself gay ever since.


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When did you come out?

What makes you smile?

My mum is a lesbian and I'm fairly sure she knew all along. I never felt any pressure to be one thing or the other. I'm very thankful for that and understand how lucky I am compared to some.

When I drop an old or obscure track and everyone in the crowd goes ‘Ohhhh!’ because they know it. Or when we're on stage and one of the dancers does something really cool or unexpected and the whole crowd screams. If we have a few of those moments during a night, I go home feeling great.

What would you say to your 18-yearold self? Buy,, and now, and in 10 years you'll be rich! What makes you angry?

Are you a gym junkie? Yeah, a little bit. I only got serious about it a couple of years ago. It’s definitely become a bit of an addiction, but there are far worse ones to have, I suppose.

I find party politics very frustrating when our elected MPs spend more time vying for control than tackling important issues. It also annoys me that so much misinformation is spread across social media and the tabloid press. Both of these issues waste so much time and energy and are of no real benefit to society.

I'd like to be a little bit shorter! I'm all arms and legs, to be honest, a bit clumsy - and it's hard to find t-shirts that fit. I've got quite a few dents in my head too, so let's hope I don't lose my hair.

What makes you sad?

How important is your appearance?

It makes me sad that our trans and nonbinary community are experiencing the same struggles that LGBT people have been facing for decades. We must support them in achieving the same liberties and freedoms that we’re beginning to enjoy. There’s still so much work to do through Pride events and in our local communities.

Good skin and hair will do for me. I'm no fashionista, so I have to work on the bits that I’m able to do well. Working with the performers at the Nightingale has taught me that confidence can come from all sorts of places. The looks they throw are consistently amazing. Unfortunately I lack such talent.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Who’s your all-time favourite music artist? I actually love all music genres. In the car I listen to rock and metal; in the gym, drum & bass and dubstep. At work I listen to classical. So it's a tough one. For club music I'll go for Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child and Missy Elliot. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? It's going to sound corny but getting my residency again at the Nightingale. I first started at the club in 2010 as part of Mix Munkies, and we were residents until financial problems forced the club to close. It took four years of hard work to prove to the new management that I had what it takes. I gave a great performance in The Loft at Birmingham Pride 2017, and that's when I got the call. You can catch Robbie as a resident DJ at Helsinki in Leicester and the Nightingale Club in Birmingham. He will also be performing on the main stage at Leicester Pride on Saturday 31 August. You can follow Robbie on Instagram at @djrobbielewis 21

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Lots of love for Leicester Pride Saturday 31 August

Leicester Pride returns to Victoria Park on Saturday 31 August. As usual, the festival starts with the Pride Parade, beginning at midday and making its way through the city centre, arriving at Victoria Park at 1pm. Miss Marty and Lea Martin will host the festival site, with acts including Seann Miley Moore, Kelly Wilde, The Dolly Show and DJ Robbie Lewis. There will also be plenty of market and community stalls to explore, plus a wide range of food outlets. Billy Bates’ funfair makes a welcome return too. Full details are available at

The Dolly Show

Robbie Lewis

Miss Marty

Chester Pride

Warwickshire Pride

Walsall Pride

Now in its seventh year, Chester Pride takes place in the town’s Castle Square on Saturday 10 August. This year’s parade will take a brand new route, starting and finishing in Castle Square, passing under the Chester Historical Eastgate Clock. The main stage line-up includes Heather Small, Whigfield, Kelly Wilde, Nicki French and X Factor’s Lloyd Daniels.

Warwickshire Pride returns to the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa on Saturday 17 August.

Walsall Pride takes place in the town centre and features three performance stages, a fairground, market stalls, bars and food outlets.

Full details are available at

Full details are available at

Saturday 10 August


Saturday 17 August

The theme for this year is Golden Pride, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Local performers who’ve been announced so far include Kian TaylorJackson, Rosa Francesca, Nona Wyld and Asifa Lahore.

Saturday 24 August

The Saddlers Centre main stage line-up includes Sugababes’ Mutya Buena, Livin Joy, Nikki Belle and Britain’s Got Talent’s Rob King. Local LGBTQ+ venue The Lion Bar & Club will host the official after-party. Full details are available at

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Derby celebrates 50 years of Pride

Saturday 7 September

Derby Pride 2019 takes place on Saturday 7 September in the city’s Curzon Street. This year’s event celebrates 50 years of Pride, paying tribute to those who stood up to hatred, bigotry and brutality at New York’s Stonewall Inn back in 1969. Pride day will start with a large and colourful parade through the central shopping area and the Market Place, ending up at Curzon Street at midday for the start of the main event. Hosting the main stage will be Soraya Vivian and Pete Martine, with other featured performers including Rozalla, Kele le Roc, Typically Tina, United Vibe, Nikk Mager and Leo Golden Child. In addition to the on-stage performances, the event also includes a vibrant market area, food & drinks vendors, two bars, fairground rides and a dedicated family zone featuring child-friendly activities and attractions. Full details are available at

Soraya Vivian Typically Tina


Leo Golden Child Kitty Tray

August/September Dates Brighton Pride

Leeds Pride

Sunday 4 August Leeds Centre

Friday 2 - Sunday 4 August Hove Lawns/Preston Park

Chester Pride

Saturday 10 August Castle Square, Chester

Warwickshire Pride


Saturday 17 August Pump Room Gardens Leamington Spa

Manchester Pride

Reading Pride

Walsall Pride

Derby Pride

Leicester Pride


Friday 23 - Monday 26 August Manchester Saturday 24 August Gallery Square, Walsall Saturday 31 August Victoria Park, Leicester

Saturday 31 August Kings Meadow, Leicester Saturday 7 September Curzon Street, Derby Saturday 14 September Campbell Park 23

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Photos from Fox & Squirrel Photography

Chesterfield Pride last month celebrated its fifth year and attracted a record-breaking crowd of more than 5,000 people, with organisers hailing the event a big success. Performers on the day included Sonia, Katherine Ellis, Shenad and X-Factor’s Sami Brookes. 25

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HONOURING LEICESTER GAY PLAYWRIGHT Leicester-born LGBT playwright and literary genius Joe Orton is best known for writing the shocking, outrageous and amusing black comedies, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot and What The Butler Saw. Now, over 50 years after his death in 1967, a campaign has been launched to have a statue of the iconic Midlands playwright erected in his home town.

Who was Joe Orton? Despite being celebrated as a uniquely talented writer, Joe Orton’s life was far from easy. Born John Kingsley Orton and raised on Leicester’s Saffron Lane council estate, Joe was the eldest of four children born to a distant father and a mother who lacked emotional warmth. After failing the eleven-plus exam, he enrolled in Clarks College and trained for a life of clerical work. From these humble beginnings, Joe developed a passion for acting and achieved a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1950. It was at RADA that he met Kenneth Halliwell, the man who was to become his friend, mentor, lover and, eventually, his murderer. Neither Joe nor Halliwell enjoyed RADA, and after graduating they devoted their time to becoming writers. It wasn’t until the early 1960s that Joe had his first breakthrough; the radio play The Ruffian On The Stair was adapted and broadcast by the BBC Third Programme. Although Joe’s public career was short his first stage play, Entertaining Mr Sloane, premiered in 1964, just three years before his death - his work was highly influential. And given that he was an openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was actively persecuted by the police, his plays were also undeniably groundbreaking. 26

Joe was murdered at the age of 34 by his gay partner His scandalous black comedies won major awards in their day and have since been performed all over the world. In the years since his death, Joe has been influential in the development of generations of writers, so much so that his unique style has given rise to the adjective ‘Ortonesque’, to describe work that blends the comic and the macabre.

His life, as revealed in his diaries, was as scandalous as his plays... Joe died tragically at the age of 34, murdered by Halliwell, who bludgeoned him to death at their home in Islington, London, before killing himself with an overdose of Nembutal.

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Who is backing the campaign? The Joe Orton Statue Appeal has been organised by a committee of Orton fans in Leicester and is headed by his sister, Leonie Orton, and Dr Emma Parker - a leading Orton expert at the University of Leicester. The campaign has also been lent support by a host of celebrities, including prominent LGBT figures Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry. On hearing of the fundraising campaign, Fry said of the playwright: “Joe Orton has always been a hero to me, both in his work and in the authenticity, wit and wonder of his life. A statue is a wonderful idea.”

I have craved Orton’s writing for a long time, whether I’m sitting on stage or performing in the cast. There are no comparisons. He’s a true original. Half poet, half devil’s apprentice. I never tire of his wit, soul and anarchy


“Joe Orton has always “ been a hero to me, both in his work and in the authenticity, wit and wonder of his life A statue is a wonderful idea. STEPHEN FRY

Joe’s sister, Leonie Orton, and Sir Ian McKellen are campaigning for a statue of the iconic Midlands playwright to be erected in his home town of Leicester.

Joe Orton was a revolutionary playwright; much respected worldwide. He was always proud of his roots in Leicester, as I hope they also feel proud of him and will express it by celebrating his genius with a statue in his home town


Other celebrities who have lent their support to the appeal include Hollywood A-lister Alec Baldwin, Scottish actor Kenneth Cranham and Sheila Hancock, CBE. 27

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How you can help... The Joe Orton Statue Appeal in Leicester The favoured location for the commemorative statue, which has a projected cost of £100,000, is Orton Square by Curve, at the heart of the Cultural Quarter. Its design will be subject to a competition in which artists will be asked to represent a likeness of Orton in a suitably ‘Ortonesque’ way. It’s hoped that the statue will become a symbol of Leicester’s literary heritage and commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Leonie Orton, who administers Joe’s estate with her sister, Marilyn, said: “A

statue of Joe will ensure that a great writer is not forgotten, raise awareness of Leicester’s rich literary heritage and serve as an inspirational reminder that talent is everywhere and art is for everyone, regardless of social background or circumstance.” The launch of the Joe Orton Statue Appeal took place at Curve on 25 July. Invited guests and Orton fans were presented with a short fundraising film from Sir Ian McKellen and Leonie Orton, as well as being given the first opportunity to pledge their support to the statue’s funding.

Joe Orton’s most famous works Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964) Joe’s first major script was initially produced in London at the New Arts Theatre, later transferring to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre. The play follows the story of the handsome Mr Sloane, the sexually provocative Kath, her controlling brother, Ed, and their father, Kemp. The scandalous black comedy received mixed reviews but went on to be joint winner of Best New British Play in Variety’s London Critics Poll. It was made into a film starring Beryl Reid and Peter McEnery in 1970.

Loot (1964) Loot was Joe’s third major production and is considered to have been the most successful of his plays during his lifetime. Despite having an unsuccessful first run, the dark farce eventually went on to win the Evening Standard’s Best Play award. Satirising religion, social attitudes to death and the integrity of the police force, Loot follows the story of a pair of bank robbers and the psychopathic Inspector Truscott’s pursuit of them. The film version starred Richard Attenborough.

Guests were also able to take part in a silent auction, to bid for items from the Orton Archive, exclusive theatre experiences and Orton artwork. There were also some once-in-a-lifetime rewards available for donating, including the chance to wear Joe’s coat or have a private reading of the Orton Diaries by Kenneth Cranham.

Those wishing to pledge their support to the Joe Orton Statue Appeal can do so at

What The Butler Saw (1969) What The Butler Saw premiered in 1969, two years after Joe’s death, and although it appalled audiences with its sexual overtones and attacks on conventional morality, it’s considered by many to be the playwright’s finest work. Opening in a private psychiatric clinic, the play soon descends into a farce, addressing such subjects as sexual and psychological exploitation, gender confusion, nymphomania, incest, blackmail and bribery. A BBC TV version of the play was screened 20 years after Joe’s death.

Alan Turing is revealed as the new face of the £50 note... Another hugely influential gay man is also soon to be commemorated - by becoming the new face of the £50 note. Genius mathematician and war hero Alan Turing was selected from a shortlist of 12 to appear on the note,, 1. which is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021. Turing was selected not only to recognise his role in World War Two, where he worked at Bletchley Park devising ways to break Nazi ciphers, but also to acknowledge the impact of his persecution for homosexuality after the war. In 2013, he was posthumously granted a royal pardon. Three years later, thousands of men convicted of offences that once criminalised homosexuality were also posthumously pardoned. The new £50 note is set to feature: a photo of Turing taken in 1951; a table and mathematical formulae from one of Turing’s papers; a quote from Turing as well as his signature; and ticker tape depicting Turing’s birth date in binary code. 29

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A tweet in the right direction At the risk of appearing horribly social mediarist, I hate Twitter. I quite like Facebook. I can get on with YouTube. I find Instagram a bit poncey - but then I suppose even poncey people need somewhere to call their own (Legal notice: other forms of social media are available, but I simply can’t be bothered to find out what they are). But I cannot abide Twitter. I just cannot get on with it. And that’s one of the problems. That was my 250-character limit right there. There is nothing you can do but be a smart arse (or plagiarise a smart arse) in 250 characters. It’s designed for people who only want the bare minimum of detail and have nothing more to say. But the main problem is that there is just so much of it. I start reading, and an hour later I’ve read so many tweets but actually learnt nothing. It’s a bombardment of nothing - and so, so much of nothing. The election when Trump won was one of the most depressing of recent years it’s right down there with the worst of them, along with Brexit getting the (not very) popular vote and Jenny first appearing on The L Word. On the day Trump became President-elect, Twitter went crazy, with some 40 million tweets about the election. I couldn’t bear to watch any news at all that day, let alone read 40 million horrendously poor puns about orangeness and Top Trumps (UK only). I have tried it. I do feature on Twitter, and every now and again I get a

CAT’S CORNER by Gudrun

If you peer through the dirty windows of my Twitter account, you can just about see what I once sold, but now it’s just littered with unwanted post. It’s unlikely that the shop will ever be used again.

“Sadly a little boy I teach, Charlie, is sadly being bullied at school for his love of MT, being called GAY, FAT, STUPID… Today he was beaten up by 6 boys and left curled up, crying.”

“I FOUND MYSELF WONDERING IF THERE WERE HALF-DECENT PEOPLE TWITTERING AFTER ALL” notification that some poor fool is eagerly awaiting my next tweet. But that tweet will never come. I went at it with some enthusiasm for the first few hours. I picked a photo to represent me and I spent a while trying to think of some exciting, meaningful, hilarious and topical inaugural tweet. Failed. Then I followed a few people and unfollowed them when I realised that they failed at writing decent tweets too. And now it’s like that empty shop on the high street.

Having said all of that, my hard ice-cold Twitter heart melted slightly recently, and I found myself wondering if there were half-decent people Twittering after all. A teacher concerned about one of her pupils wrote: “Sadly a little boy I teach, Charlie, who is also a dear family friend is sadly being bullied at school for his love of MT, being called gay, fat, stupid….the list goes on. Today he was beaten up by 6 boys and left curled up, crying.” And then loads and loads of people responded with the most heart-warming videos and messages to make Charlie smile. Apparently, lots of these people are very famous in the world of MT (Musical Theatre. See, I looked it up so you don’t have to…), which made it incredibly special for Charlie, who deserves all the happiness he can get. Bullying is an age-old problem, and we’ve so far failed to get any sort of grasp on how we get rid of it. But if social media can help those who are suffering bullying, at least that’s a step in the right direction. Even if it means I have to go onto Twitter to find out what it’s all about. Many thanks to all you MT celebrities who came to Charlie’s aid. 31

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The Lacey Lou Column Message Lacey on Twitter


Let’s talk...

t u O g n i Com

and understanding the lingo...

Hello, I’m Lacey and I’m pansexual.

“In order to bridge gaps between people, we need to understand and educate ourselves about differences”

Growing up, I knew there was something a bit different about me when compared to my friends and peers. I think we all felt that disconnect. I’ve always been queer - in how I think, dress and what I’ve generally been drawn to. With little to no conversation around LGBT+ topics taking place when my friends and I were growing up, most of us didn’t have a clue what was going on. Sexuality is a huge part of a person’s identity, and we need to be able to understand who we are. It’s only then that we can be true to ourselves and live life to the full. In two relationships with men, I had to try and understand my sexuality. It was hard. I couldn’t fully work out who I was. The last few years have seen a great leap forward in terms of


conversations around LGBT+ issues. Education about and understanding of the different sexualities, genders and identities that make up our ever-inclusive initialism has improved. Many people don’t need a label, but for some there is great comfort in knowing that they fall into the same category as others. It can really help people understand not only themselves but the world around them and the community to which they belong. In order to bridge gaps between people, we need to understand and educate ourselves about differences. I hope the list of definitions on the opposite page helps... I’ve brushed up on a few of them myself!

Lots of love,

Lacey X

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Someone without sexual feelings or associations.

A term used to describe a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes, or whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes male or female. Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary (see below).

Queer is a term used by those wanting to reject specific labels of romantic orientation, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can also be a way of rejecting the perceived norms of the LGBT community (racism, sizeism, ableism etc). Although some LGBT people view the word as a slur, it was reclaimed and embraced by the queer community in the late 1980s.

BISEXUAL Someone who experiences attraction to people of their gender and another gender. Bisexual attraction does not have to be equally split, nor indicate a level of interest that is the same across the genders to which an individual may be attracted.

CISGENDER OR CIS Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth.

GAY The term gay refers to a man who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards men. It is also considered a generic term for lesbian and gay sexuality - some women define themselves as gay rather than lesbian.

LESBIAN Refers to a woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards women.

NON-BINARY An umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities and people who reject them entirely.

PANSEXUAL Refers to a person whose romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not limited by sex or gender.

QUESTIONING The process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

QPOC/QTPOC Initialisms that stand for queer people of colour and queer and/or trans people of colour.

TRANSGENDER An umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth.

TWITTER: Carry on the chat @laceymcfadyen 33

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Rainbows Reign OK!

ON THE LL A with B Steve Ball

Steve talks about Kings and Queens and red-hot pokers where the sun doesn’t shine Duke of Kent. On one occasion during cocktail hour at Clarence House, the Queen (as she then was) was impatiently waiting for her gin and Dubonnet and called down to the servants' quarters: “I don't know about any of you queens down there, but this Queen up here wants a drink.”

Of the 41 kings and queens since William The Conqueror, it's reckoned that seven were likely to have been lesbian, gay or bisexual. They didn't all lead happy and contented lives. For starters there was Edward the Second, the most famous gay king. Everyone knows how he died; murdered at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, by being held down and having a red-hot poker inserted where the sun doesn't shine. His screams could be heard for miles around, and historians believe this cruel torture was probably devised as punishment for his presumed sexual shenanigans with men. A few hundred years later, by the time George VI was on the throne, things had changed. King George's wife, the late Queen Mother, enjoyed friendships with some of the most flamboyant gay men of her day, including Noel Coward, who was rumoured to have had an affair with her own brother-in-law, Prince George, the

Fast forward to 2019, when earlier this summer Prince William announced, on a visit to an LGBT homeless centre in London, that he wouldn't care if his children were gay. He did, however, say he'd be worried about the pressures they would face from society. He also admitted that he'd only started thinking about the issue since becoming a father, and that he wished we lived in a world where it wouldn't matter.


Sadly, being LGBT still does matter, especially in the 37 Commonwealth countries where it's still illegal to be gay. But knowing that our future king - and de facto head of the Commonwealth holds such pro-equality views provides hope that attitudes and actions will continue to change.


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In recent times the LGBTQ+ community has endured many a setback, from the RISE IN HOMOPHOBIC HATE CRIME to the ongoing row about EQUALITIES LESSONS IN SCHOOLS. Now more than ever, we need our allies to step forward and

help in our mission to create equal rights for all. Here, we take a look at those in the spotlight who have come forward to show their support for LGBTQ+ issues, helping to spread awareness and positivity on a larger scale...

PRINCE WILLIAM On a recent visit to Albert Kennedy Trust’s London headquarters, the Duke of Cambridge expressed his support for the LGBTQ+ community when he contemplated the possibility that one of his children could come out as gay. He was asked by a young gay man: “If your child one day in the future said, ‘Oh, I’m gay, oh, I’m lesbian’ whatever, how would you react?” William replied: “I think you don’t really start thinking about that until you are a parent, and I think - obviously, absolutely fine by me.”

The prince, a father of three, added: “The one thing I’d be worried about is how, particularly the roles my children fill, how that is going to be interpreted and seen. So Catherine and I have been doing a lot of talking about it, to make sure they were prepared.” He added: “It worries me not because of them being gay; it worries me how everyone else will react and perceive it, and the pressure is then on them. “I wish we lived in a world where, like you said, it’s really normal and cool. But particularly for my family and the position that we are in, that’s the bit I’m nervous about.”

TAYLOR SWIFT To kick off Pride month, pop star Taylor Swift wrote a letter to her senator in support of the Equality Act, and is asking her fans to do the same. The bill, which passed in the House of Representatives, is an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It protects LGBTQ+ people against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing, jury selection and public accommodations. The bill now needs to go before the Senate, and Swift has

What is an ally anyway? An ally, straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual and/or cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality and LGBT social movements, and who challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. 36

created a petition to urge Congress to pass it. “Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic,” Taylor wrote on Instagram. “The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable.” As we go to print, the petition is nearing 500,000 signatures.

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Hollywood actor George Clooney called for a boycott of nine luxury hotels with links to Brunei after the country said that gay sex and adultery would be punishable by death. Homosexuals could have faced being stoned to death or, in the case of lesbians, whipped, had the Sultan of Brunei not then backtracked on the legislation. Mr Clooney said the laws amounted to human rights violations. “In the onslaught of news, where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism, this stands alone,” the actor wrote in a column for the entertainment website, Deadline. “Brunei is a monarchy, and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations?” He said Dorchester Collection hotels in the US, UK, France and Italy, which are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, should be avoided by those who opposed the new laws.

Homophobia in sport, amongst players and fans, is still an issue that the LGBTQ+ community is having to battle against. In recent times, however, there have been some positive actions that have allowed attitudes to move forward. Back in February, England cricket captain Joe Root challenged West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel after the latter used the word ‘gay’ in a derogatory manner on the field of play during a Test match in the Caribbean.

NICKI MINAJ Rapper Nicki Minaj recently cancelled a scheduled performance in Saudi Arabia, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBT community. Her headline billing at Jeddah World Fest triggered an outcry from critics of the country's human rights record. “After careful reflection, I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest,” the singer said in a statement.

Responding to Gabriel’s comment, Root said: “Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay.” Root’s response was praised by LGBTQ+ charities, fellow sportsmen and British politicians. When asked after the match about the incident, Root commented: “I just did what I thought was right. You have responsibility to go about things in a certain manner on the field, and it felt appropriate to act how I did.”

“While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.”

Local MPs show their support... MP JESS PHILLIPS The Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, recently hit the headlines when she was caught up in a heated confrontation with Shakeel Afsar, who is fronting the campaign against Anderton Park primary school’s lessons about samesex relationships. Asked why she had “not supported” the

MP LIAM BYRNE Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, earlier this year spoke out about the current debate surrounding the No Outsiders programme at Parkfield Community School. In a statement, the father of three said: “Birmingham was built by people from all walks of life, coming together to live, love,

parents’ protests, Ms Phillips told Mr Afsar: “I don’t agree with the protests. I don’t agree that you get to pick and choose which equality you can and can’t have. “Our equality laws protect us all. I want to protect you, I want to protect the Muslim community ... The worst thing about it is it is damaging the reputation of a peaceful and loving community that I have lived in my entire life.”

work and build an amazing community. That’s why we believe in No Outsiders. There are LGBT people of every race, faith and community. It is our responsibility to let these children know that there is nothing wrong with them. Our goal is to build a city where we support each other in flourishing, feeling safe from fear, hatred and disrespect. And that’s what makes us the greatest city in the world.” 37

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with Midlands Zone...

T tickets to see Two On Your Feet! The Broadway and West End production of Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s smash-hit musical, On Your Feet!, embarks on an international tour this autumn. Telling the inspiring true love story of Emilio and Gloria, the show charts their journey from Cuba to international superstardom via the streets of Miami. This exhilarating musical features some of the most iconic pop songs of the era, including Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Conga, Get On Your Feet, Don’t Want To Lose You Now and 1-2-3. We have two tickets to give away to see On Your Feet! when it cha-cha-chas its way into Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 September...

Enter the competition via our Facebook page at @midlandszone


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Arts • Theatre • Entertainment

Two of the best queens from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11, Plastique Tiara & Yvie Oddly, here team up for a touring show that comes complete with their dancers from the USA and host for the night Ru Jazzle. Get ready to get weird! The Glee Club, Birmingham, Wednesday 7 August

Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and get ready for the most fun-filled high-octane rock’n’roll party of them all! Grease is the original high-school musical, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie, including You’re The One That I Want, Grease Is The Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You, Sandy and Greased Lightnin’. The cast includes singer Peter Andre, who plays Teen Angel in selected performances at the Hippodrome (check the theatre’s website for full details). Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 13 - Saturday 24 August

Coming to Brum next month!

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

Quentin Crisp certainly had a talent for outrageous selfpublicity. Back in the mid-20th century, ‘mincing around’ the streets of London in gaudy makeup and dying one’s hair crimson was a pretty good way for a gay man to get himself not only noticed but also thoroughly duffed up - and Quentin certainly bagged a beating or two en route to the fame and fragility of his old age. This ‘glorious, uplifting celebration of the urgent necessity to be your true self’ is written and performed by Mark Farrelly.

The Dreamboys are back with a brand new show for 2019 and they’re hotter than ever! Without a shadow of a doubt the UK's most famous and successful male strippers, the fellas are renowned for presenting breathtaking shows that will make for a . fantastic and naughty night out for you and your friends g! evenin the of end the by more for g Expect to be beggin t Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Saturday 10 Augus


Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham, Thursday 5 - Saturday 7 September 39

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10 YEARS AGO A look back at Midlands Zone from August 2009

Picture Special from 2009

Robbie Williams awards ÂŁ30,000 to Stoke LGBT network

We interviewed Angela Gilraine who headed up the now defunct Pink Shield group in Birmingham


It’s 10 years since Gorgeous Nightclub in Wolverhampton opened its doors

Mardi Gras fancy dress shop opened in the car park at the bottom of Hurst St - pictured with Miss Marty is manager Scott Rhodes

Cal from Eden celebrating his birthday

Big success for Nottingham Pride Parade

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GLITORIS GIRLS are set to sparkle at The Yard

Your guide to the month ahead on the GAY SCENE


MISS AMBER brings the funny to Bar Diva

DRAG QUEENS unite for charity at Missing


Drag SOS’ Lill sits in judgement at


Sunday 11 August at the Nightingale, Birmingham


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The Vivienne Mon 5 August, Havana Republic, Shrewsbury


Celebrating a whole DECADE of

Church of Yshee Grand Final DRAG NIGHT Birmingham drag lipsync competition The Church Of Yshee holds its long-awaited final this month - with one lucky act leaving with a £1,000 cash prize! Guest judges include drag king Chiyo Gomes, Manchester’s Heroin Amor, Drag SOS’ Lill and SHOUT Festival Director Adam Carver. Sunday 11 August, Nightingale Club, Birmingham, and an after-party at The Village Inn.

Traditionally one of Missing Bar’s busiest evenings, Drag Night returns for a 10th year, raising money for West Midlands Positive. Expect performances from Twiggy, Amy LaQueefa, The Divine Miss M, Jenna Davinci, Dahliah Rivers, Jay Andre, Elliot Barnicle, Gavina and Donna Trump. Sunday 25 August, Missing Bar, Birmingham

Donna Trump

Heroin Amor


Amy LaQueefa

Dann Bear

Chiyo Gomes

THE BURLESQUE BOMBSHELL CONTEST After the success of its previous three sell-out shows, House of Allure is heading to Eden Bar this month for a charity fundraiser.

House of Allure's Locques La Roux hosts the event alongside four judges: Dominus Von Vexo, Lioness, Lily Lustre and Twiggy.

Join 12 fierce competitors as they battle it out for the Burlesque Bombshell crown. Expect stockings, nipple tassels and wigs to clash across the stage in a show that features everything from striptease to comedy, with all profits from the event going to Birmingham LGBT and National Ugly Mugs.

The competitors are: Manly Mannington, Peaches Munroe, Damaris, Pussy Willow, Grizzly, Rii Rii Lepour, Strawberry Thorn, Lolita Lash, Beatrixx Calidi, The Velvet Gay, Aurora L'Amore and Cosmic Crum.


Fri 30 August, Eden Bar, Birmingham.

Dominus Von Vexo


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Miss Amber

Sat 17 August, Bar Diva, Dudley

Martha d’Arthur

Lee Gilbert

Friday 2 August, Village Inn, Birmingham

Thurs 1 August, Eden Bar, Birmingham

Topsie Redfern West End star and Drag Idol UK 2013 runner-up Topsie Redfern will be bringing the house down when she visits the Village Inn this month.

Fri 9 August, Village Inn, Birmingham

TILLY Award-winning drag queen Tilly has been in showbiz for over 30 years! She’ll be entertaining the crowds at Bar Diva this month with some truly crazy comedy! Saturday 3 August,

anny eard

Bar Diva, Dudley

B it i ’s Got Talent star Danny Beard returns to Birmingham’s Britain’ award-winning Eden Bar this month - and then returns again! Danny’s certainly become one of the city’s favourite drag acts in recent years; so if you still haven’t caught up with him, make sure you head down to Eden this month. Saturday 3 and Thursday 15 August, Eden Bar, Birmingham

JACQUII CANN Stars In Their Eyes champion Jacquii Cann channels the sounds of Alison Moyet. Get ready for all the hits, from All Cried Out to Invisible. Saturday 10 August,

Bar Diva, Dudley

PARTY WITH MARTY Miss Thunderpussy

Birmingham drag legend Marty Smith is once again out and about this month, serving up her usual delightful dose of fun, games and naughty antics! Friday 2 August,

The Yard, Coventry Friday 23 August Village Inn, Birmingham

International drag superstar Miss Thunderpussy visits Leicester and Birmingham this month. Be prepared for cheeky banter, dirty talkin’ and blinding tunes! Friday 2 August Dover Castle, Leicester Fri 16 August, Village Inn, Birmingham 43

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Brenda LaBeau

Monday 19 August Havana Republic, Shrewsbury Saturday 24 August, Eden, Birmingham


Gracing the Midlands with her presence this month is dra g star extraordinaire Shania Pai n. She’ll be singing the songs that get you moving - and is sur e to be dropping some cheeky banter into the bargain! Friday 16 August, The Yard, Coventry

There’s yet another night of top cabaret to enjoy at Coventry gay venue The Yard this month - this time in the company of the fantastic Fannie Coil! If you haven’t visited The Yard yet, why not pop along?

Midlands-based KY Kelly may be one of the newer faces on the drag scene, but don’t let that deceive you. Expect award-winning cabaret and plenty of laughs! Friday 9 August, The Yard, Coventry

OTHER EVENTS INCLUDE: The Club Reunion Gossip, Stoke-on-Trent

Sun 4 August

Friends of Eden (Meeting re local development) Eden, birmingham

Fri 9 August

Mary Golds Dover Castle, Leicester 44

m and a sitor to Bru Frequent vi , ar B n de E at ac big favourite M y ar M star Scottish drag rtan to ta e th ns do t once again evening of hi bring you an ky Celtic banter! ee songs and ch ugust, A Thursday 8 mingham ir Eden Bar, B

Fannie Coil

KY Kelly

Sat 3 August


Ghoul School - The Alternative Drag Competition The Nightingale, Birmingham

Sat 10 August

Dr Beverly Ballcrusher The Red Lion, Walsall Birmingham Fetish Men Eden Bar, Birmingham

Friday 23 August, The Yard, Coventr y

Sun 11 August

Queer Life Drawing The Loft, Birmingham

Fri 16 August

Mids Bears Eden, Birmingham XXL Birmingham The Core, Birmingham

Sun 18 August

Leather Social Eden, birmingham

Tues 20 August

The Big Fat Gay Quiz Dover Castle, Leicester

Fri 23 August

Marsha Mallow Dover Castle, Leicester Ghoul School The Alternative Drag Competition The Nightingale, Birmingham

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Glitoris Girls

Friday 30 August The Yard, Coventry

Vicky Jackson as PINK! The Midlands’ favourite P!NK tribute returns to the region - so head on down and join the party with Vicky Jackson! Sun 25 August, Village Inn, Birmingham Mon 2 Sept, Havana Republic, Shrewsbury

Lola Lasagne Another brilliant night is in prospect at Dudley’s Bar Diva this month, as Lola Lasagne returns to the stage! Expect lots of laughter and fun, plus a good oldfashioned sing-song! Saturday 31 August Bar Diva, Dudley

Sat 24 August

Walsall Pride Cabaret Stage The Red Lion, Walsall Club Scritches Eden, Birmingham

Sat 24/Sun 25 Aug

Summer Of Love Street Party The Yard, Coventry

Sun 25 Aug

Bank Holiday Party Night with Charlie Hides The Boston, Northampton

Sat 31 August

Trixie Lee, KY Kelly and Lola Lasagne The Dover Castle, Leicester Java Duke, Heart and Soul, Marsha Mallow and Kara Van Park Rainbow & Dove, Leicester Mother's Meeting presents The Cabaret Bar Jester, Birmingham 45

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EVERY THURSDAY 9PM Thursdays with DJ Gavina £1.50 bombs



EVERY FRIDAY 9PM Hit Man and Her with DJ Mike Emery & Gavina Vagina

Sherlock St, B5 6NB Tel: 0121 622 1953 /

EVERY MONDAY 9PM Bingo with Queeny EVERY TUESDAY Pick n Mix with Ginny Lemon + Blanche

EVERY WEDNESDAY 8PM Quizzical with DJ Yogi EVERY WEDNESDAY Karaoke with Pork Pie The Village, Birmingham

EVERY FRIDAY & SUNDAY Karaoke & Disco with DJ Nikki



12 Bromsgrove St, B5 6RG Tel: 0121 6222 444 /The-Loft-Lounge

Hurst St, B5 6NU Tel: 0121 622 4256 /missingbar


EVERY SUNDAY 8.30pm & 10.30pm Camp as t*ts with Amy LaQueefa and guest cabaret

EVERY MONDAY UNTIL 4AM Ministry of Pound with DJ Mike Emery EVERY TUESDAY Karaoke with Gavina Vagina

EVERY MONDAY Monday Cocktail Club 2 for £10 EVERY WEDNESDAY Wing It Wednesday Kilo of wings and drink £10

EVERY SATURDAY DJ Toni Lee & DJ Poni alternate weeks.

Birmingham venues where you can pick up Midlands Zone VENUE KEY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Clone Zone Missing The Village Eden Bar The Core Boltz Club The Fox The Nightingale

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

EVERY SATURDAY Missing’s House Party with DJ Matty, DJ Mike Emery and host Twiggy

Devil’s Kitchen The Loft The Fountain Club Chic Bar Jester Glamorous Birmingham LGBT

EVERY SUNDAY Yshee Black + special guests

NIGHTINGALE CLUB Kent St, B5 6RD Tel: 0121 622 1718 g /thenightingaleclub EVERY THURSDAY Pounded! with £1 drinks all night EVERY FRIDAY Absolute Anthems with DJs Corey Hadley and Scott Hilton

PLUS THESE VENUES BAR JESTER Holloway Circus, B1 1EG Tel: 0121 643 8344 BOLTZ CLUB Lower Essex St, B5 6QP Tel: 0121 666 6888 CLUB CHIC 28 Horsefair, B11DD Tel: 0121 666 6806 THE CORE Sherlock St, B5 6NB Tel: 0121 622 2797 DEVILS KITCHEN Kent St, B5 6NB FOUNTAIN INN Wrentham St, B5 6QL Tel: 0121 622 1452

12 13

THE FOX 17 Lower Essex St, B5 6SN Tel: 0121 622 3213


EVERY SATURDAY Nightingale Saturdays with free entry until 12pm

GLAMOROUS 27-35 Hurst St, B5 4BD Tel: 0121 622 5912




THE VILLAGE INN Hurst St, B5 4BD Tel: 0121 622 4742 /villageinnbirmingham


EVERY THURSDAY Miss Marty + Miss Penny alternate weeks

SPARTAN HEALTH CLUB 127 George Road, B23 7SH Tel: 0121 382 3345 UNIT 2 78 Lower Essex St, B5 6SN Tel: 0121 622 7070

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88 Short St, CV1 2LX

THE YARD 11-12 Bull Yard, CV1 1LH Tel: 02475 012 959 /TheYardCoventry


BAR DIVA 76 Lower Plaza Mall, King Street, DY2 8NZ /BarDivaThePlaceToBe EVERY MONDAY Manic Monday with Miss Annie

EVERY MONDAY Fabulous Mondays with Miss Penny and guest cabaret every 1st and 3rd Monday THE PEACH TREE 18-21 Abbey Foregate Tel: 01743 355055 /ThePeachTreeRestaurant

SAUNAS IN THE AREA THE GREENHOUSE Willenhall Road, WS10 8JG Tel: 0121 568 6126


HELSINKI 94 Rutland St. LE1 1SB Tel: 0116 254 7568 RAINBOW & DOVE 185 Charles St. LE1 1LA Tel: 0116 254 7568



School St. WV1 4LF Tel: 01902 427247

AMIGOS LEISURE 30 Bedford St South, LE1 3JR Tel: 0116 251 1955


CLUB 29 29 New Bond St, LE1 4RQ Tel: 0116 262 7770 SPLASH SPA & LEISURE 61 Bedford St South, LE1 3JR Tel: 0116 367 3932

EVERY TUESDAY Jelly Cube quiz night EVERY WEDNESDAY Open mic night hosted by Tom Barnwell EVERY THURSDAY 8PM Free Shot Karaoke with Jupiter & Minerva EVERY SATURDAY DJ Richard Alexander with Jupiter and Minerva

EVERY THURSDAY Get Pounded Karaoke with Miss Annie EVERY FRIDAY Freaky Friday’s with DJ Mikey EVERY SATURDAY Cabaret Saturdays with Miss Annie EVERY SUNDAY Ring & Ride with Mo & Margaret

EVERY THURSDAY 1AM-6AM #FreeEntryThursdays STOKE-ON-TRENT GOSSIP 5 Hope Street, ST1 5BT Tel: 07399 664955 PINK 93 Stafford Street, ST1 1LS

Tel: 01782 272772

EVERY SATURDAY 12AM-6AM The Breakfast Club

THE BOSTON College St. NN1 2QP Tel: 01604 604404 /thebostonnorthampton

WORCESTER THE FLAG 50 Lowesmoor, WR1 2SG Tel: 01905 780467


HAVANA REPUBLIC 18-21 Abbey Foregate, SY2 6AE Tel: 01743 271821 /HavanaRepublic

SAUNAS IN THE AREA HEROES HEALTH CLUB 5 Lower High St, DY8 1TE Tel: 0138 444 2030

TELFORD THREE FURNACES 30 Bridgnorth Rd, Madeley. TF7 4JB. 01952 588521

WALSALL EVERY SUNDAY Bingo, Play Your Cards Right and Deal or No Deal with weekly cash prizes of over £100



THE LION Birchills St. WS2 8NG Tel: 01922 610977 THE RED LION Park St. WS1 1NW Tel: 01922 637790

VELVET CLUB Angel Row, WR1 3QN Tel: 01905 20218

DERBY THE CROWN INN 40 Curzon St. DE1 1LL Tel: 01332 381742

LEICESTER BOXED BAR & MUSIC VENUE (Bossa @ Boxed) Gay every first Sunday of the month, 110 Granby St. LE1 1DL DOVER CASTLE 34 Dover St. LE16PT Tel: 0116 255 3052

EVERY FRIDAY Pink Pounder - £1 drinks with DJ Darren S EVERY SATURDAY The Big Weekend Party Night with DJ Cilla EVERY SUNDAY Karaoke feat. Joeyoke - with free entry all night


WITH THE UK’S BIGGEST REGIONAL LGBTQ MAGAZINE To find out more contact: Lei Woodhouse on 01743 281703

Gorgeous, Wolverhampton 47

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JOCK returned to the Midlands last month for a third time, with a White Edition Party at Birmingham’s Nightingale Club. Start your weekends early with Pounded every Thursday night - drinks are available from £1 and entry is free until 11pm. (*Check the back cover for more details)


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Whether you’re having after work drinks with friends or wanting to watch some of the UK’s best cabaret - Eden is the place to be! This month, the venue has a whole host of events and performances for the Birmingham scene. Including the return of Birmingham Fetish Men, Mids Bears, Leather Social and Club Scritches! (see advert opposite for more details)


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This month, Missing will be holding a spectacular charity Drag Night, raising money for Positive West Midlands. Taking place on Sunday 25 August, the event will feature non-stop cabaret from Donna Trump, Divine Miss M, Twiggy and Gavina, to name just a few! (see advert opposite for more details)


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The Village Inn is guaranteed to provide a fab evening out - open seven nights a week, there really is something for everyone... This month Martha D’Arthur and Topsie Redfern are among the fantastic acts bringing some unmissable magic to the cabaret stage, while the venue’s Bank Holiday Special sees Vicky Jackson performing as Pink. (see advert opposite for details).


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Northampton’s recently refurbished The Boston is the place to be this summer. Now serving premium cocktails every day, cool down in their large beer garden from 2pm daily. This month, Charlie Hides with be performing for the venue’s Bank Holiday Party Night on Sunday 25 August. With free entry before 11pm and open until 6am - who can resist? (see advert opposite for more details)


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The Yard had another busy month in July, with guest performers including the wonderful Mary Golds! August is set to be equally action-packed, as the likes of Miss Marty, KY Kelly, Shania Pain, Fannie Coil and the Glitoris Girls entertain the Coventry crowds. The venue will also be holding a Summer Of Love street party over the bank holiday weekend. We can’t wait! (see advert opposite for more details)


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The team at Dudley’s Bar Diva always know how to put on a show! July saw Miss Marty take to the stage and wow the crowds. The wonderful Tilly, Jacquii Cann, Miss Amber and Lola Lasagne all feature in this month’s cabaret line-up. Plus, Bar Diva’s popular foam party will be making a welcome return on Saturday 24 August. (see advert opposite for more details)


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Start the week right by getting along to Havana Republic’s Fabulous Mondays event, an evening that’s never short of fun and frolics. The biggest gay Monday night out in the Midlands this month features The Vivienne and Brenda LaBeau. (see advert opposite for more details)


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Gorgeous’ Breakfast Club on Saturdays is one of Wolverhampton’s busiest club nights. And with free entry and ‘buy one get one free’ drinks until 1am, that’s hardly surprising! The club also has Free Entry Thursdays until 6am and Fab Fridays, with DJ James Levett playing dance classics, house and R’n’B.


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The Loft August.qxp_Layout 1 24/07/2019 16:55 Page 1



With craft beers, contemporary cocktails, a locally sourced food menu, speciality gins and a fully heated garden in the heart of Birmingham, what’s not to love about The Loft!

Part of

What’sOn MEDIA GROUP Offices: Wynner House, Bromsgrove St, Birmingham B5 6RG and 13-14 Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6AE

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Editor-in-Chief & Publisher: Martin Monahan Editorial: Brian O’Faolain 01743 281701 Sales & Marketing: Lei Woodhouse 01743 281703 Chris Horton 01743 281704 Managing Director: Davina Evans Subscriptions: Adrian Parker 01743 281714 Graphic Designers: Abi Whitehouse, Lisa Wassell, Chris Atherton Accounts : Julia Perry 01743 281717 Contributors: Steve Ball, Lacey Lou, Stephen Spinks, Ryan Humphreys, Rico Johnson-Sinclair, Laura Byrne This publication is printed on paper from a sustainable source and is produced without the use of elemental chlorine. We endorse the recycling of our magazine and would encourage you to pass it on to others to read when you have finished with it. All works appearing in this publication are copyright. It is to be assumed that the copyright for material rests with the magazine unless otherwise stated. No part of this publication may be reproduced, or stored in an electronic system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recording or otherwise, without the prior knowledge and consent of the publishers.


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Nightingale Full August 2019.qxp_Layout 1 22/07/2019 14:15 Page 1

Profile for Midlands Zone

Midlands Zone August 2019  

The UK’s Biggest Regional LGBTQ+ Lifestyle Magazine

Midlands Zone August 2019  

The UK’s Biggest Regional LGBTQ+ Lifestyle Magazine